Considering pollinators in farms’ management practices could prove highly beneficial. Pollinators provide the helpful role of crop pollination, thereby assisting in increasing potential crop yield and ultimately contributing to improve the bottom line of farms.
Some pollination is achieved by water or wind. However, the majority of plant species require the assistance of animals to complete this task. Globally, there are approximately 200,000 species of animals that act as pollinators. Of these, about 1,000 are vertebrates, such as birds, bats, and small mammals, and the rest are invertebrates, including flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, and bees.
Taking Inventory of Your Pollinators
The first step to incorporating and attracting pollinators to farming or other growing operation is to take note as to which ones are already present. Scout the area, keeping an eye out for places left untilled, such as woodlots, riparian corridors, utility easements, road edges, conservation areas, unused land, farm buildings, and service yards, as they can provide forage and nest sites for pollinators.
Maintaining & Providing Habitat
Knowing what pollinators are present allow growers to work to improve existing habitat or introduce new habitat in order to maintain current and attract new pollinators to possibly benefit a crop. Habitat management practices vary depending on the type of pollinator targeted. However, there are a number of standard practices that can benefit most, if not all, groups of pollinators.
Tips for improving and providing habitat:
Habitat corridors are not only beneficial for attracting pollinators, but provide additional benefits. They give wildlife extra space to live and help eliminate over-crowding in woodland locations. More than 70% of all terrestrial wildlife species use riparian corridors, according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). They can even provide services such as snow, wind, and flood protection.
Some crops, such as watermelon and squash, are unable to produce fruit without pollination. These plants are wholly dependent on pollination by water, wind or animal pollinators.
Seminis® Seeds highly values the contributions of our earth’s pollinators to crop production and will continue to promote and educate on preserving pollinators and their habitats.
 Marks, R. 2005. Native pollinators. Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management leaflet Number 34.
 Church, J. 2014. Environmental corridors: “Lifelines for Living”. University of Illinois Extension. http://urbanext.illinois.edu. (verified 9/9/2014)